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Scientists are getting closer to building life from scratch and technology pioneers are taking notice, with record sums moving into a field that could deliver novel drugs, materials, chemicals and even perfumes.
Back in October, Deschutes Brewery Inc’s Brian Faivre was fermenting a batch of Obsidian Stout in a massive tank. Something was amiss; the beer wasn’t fermenting at the usual temperature. Luckily, a software system triggered a warning and he fixed the problem.
One day, gardeners might not just hear the buzz of bees among their flowers, but the whirr of robots, too.
The women of Thiamene, a tiny straw hut village in northern Senegal, used to scrape together a living by collecting wild baobab fruit and selling milk from their cows.
When Skechers started building a colossal distribution centre in Moreno Valley, California, six years ago, backers promised a wave of new jobs. Instead, by the time the company moved into the new warehouse, it had closed five facilities and cut its workforce by more than half.